Guy Verhofstadt proposes opt-in EU membership for Brits
Europe’s chief negotiator has proposed that the European Union recognises the “15 – 30 million” British citizens who do not wish to cease being a member of the European Union, offering them a personal membership card, todays The Times reports. The constitutional affairs committee will vote in his proposal as early as December 8 this year.
This idea was initially proposed by Luxembourg MEP Charles Goerens earlier in November and was floated as an associate membership. Endorsement for the idea from Mr Verhostadt, well-connected in the European Parliament and the chief negotiator for Brexit, can only be a positive for those Brits who don’t want to sever ties with the continent.
The rights of the 48%
Mr Verhofstadt, formerly Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 – 2008, told the Times he wishes to chamption the rights of the 48% of British people who did vote to remain. He also said
I like the idea that people who are European citizens and saying they want to keep it have the possibility of doing so. As a principle I like it.
Mr Verhofstadt told The Times he was aware that the European Parliament would need persuading to reach an agreement and unanimous vote would be required from all countries. Irrespective of the outcome on December 8th, the European Parliament would vote on the proposal before the end of the current year.
European Parliamentary veto
Mr Verhofstadt’s comments also serve as a reminder that the European Parliament can exercise it’s veto over the EU negotiations during Brexit talks, slated to commence in April 2017, allowing the parliament to shape any agreement proposed by Mr Verhofstadt or his team.
Yesterday, we reported news regarding a possible reciprocal rights bll for EU nationals living inside the UK and British migrants living in Europe.
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